Understanding the legal landscape for cannabis in Washington State is crucial for residents and visitors alike. In 2012, Washington state voters approved I-502, which legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana and tasked the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) with regulating marijuana production, processing, selling, and delivery. Adults aged 21 and over are permitted to purchase and possess cannabis within the following limits:
- Up to one ounce of usable cannabis (the harvested flowers or “bud”)
- 16 ounces of cannabis-infused edibles in solid form
- 72 ounces in liquid form
However, public consumption of marijuana carries a civil infraction. The City of Seattle regulates “major marijuana activity” to ensure compliance with zoning laws, with no more than two state-licensed major marijuana activities allowed to operate within the city.
Medical cannabis laws, under the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, integrate the medical market with the regulated recreational market, providing guidelines for a medical cannabis authorization database, and the certification of medical cannabis consultants.
For those interested in the cannabis industry, Seattle permits licensed producers, processors, and retailers, all regulated by the WSLCB, to operate within city limits following certain zoning, permitting, and licensing requirements.
It’s important to note that while it is legal for adults age 21 or older to possess and consume cannabis, cultivation of cannabis for personal use remains illegal.
For further details on the cannabis laws and regulations in Washington State and Seattle, refer to the official resources provided by the Seattle Council, the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, and the Seattle Police Department.